Negligent Security System Installation Causes Residential Fire


Fiber Optics ExpertThis case involves the alleged improper wiring of cable and security systems in a residential apartment building. The defendant security system provider installed a particular cable and telephone provider in several apartments in the building before switching to a new cable system. When the new cable system was installed, the defendants were tasked with rewiring the security system with the new cable system. Less than a week after the defendants finished the system rewire, a fire broke out in one of the apartments with the cable system in question. The security system never automatically alerted authorities for emergency assistance as it was designed to do. As a result, the fire killed 15 people and injured at least 30 more. It was alleged that the defendants failed to properly run the cable line through the security system, and failed to test the security system after cable installation.  An expert in cable installation and security was sought to opine on best practices for installing cable and security systems.

Question(s) For Expert Witness

  • 1. What is your experience installing cable systems and pairing with an automated security system?
  • 2. Is there a specific protocol for running cable through a security system? If so, how are installers typically trained to do this?

Expert Witness Response E-111497

I have 20 years of experience in the telecommunications industry. I have worked for local residential cable companies in the past and have completed many of the installations mentioned in this case. There is a specific protocol for running cable through a security system. A phone line needs to be run into the security panel into a RJ31X phone jack. The purpose of this device is to seize the phone line in case an alarm is tripped and call the proper authorities.

Expert Bio

This expert has 20+ years experience in the telecom industry, specifically in low voltage wiring. As a technician, he has installed and terminated services including Voice, Data, Fiber Optics, Cable TV, CCTV, Magnetic, Access Control-Card Reader, and Bio-Metric, and Security Systems in both residential and commercial buildings. He is currently a Project Manager and an estimator at an information and communications technologies infrastructure systems integration company. He oversees a team that completes the installation, maintenance, and integration of various communication systems.

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